Bring on the Innovation! Boulder Startup Week 2016

Posted on May 26, 2016

Sunshine and Light Blue Shirts

Downtown Boulder thrived throughout last week’s 6th Annual Boulder Startup Week (BSW). You could feel the excitement and population building as creative minds in light blue shirts filled Pearl Street. The 80302 was buzzing with new energy.

Wait, where’s my Uber?

When scrolling through Startup Week’s extremely diverse and robust schedule, an event called UberPITCH immediately caught my eye. For this event top investors, including David Cohen of Techstars, acted as Uber drivers for a three hour time block and entrepreneurs could request an Uber and present a15 minute elevator pitch… or should we say UberPITCH. Even though I didn’t have a business idea to persuade them with, I hoped to jump in a ride and catch some of their stories and thoughts about the whole process.

While waiting for my 15 minutes of facetime with a successful entrepreneur, I met Wes Harper, Scott Clampet, and Mike Ali, 3 graduates from Full Sail University that have recently moved to Colorado. Driven from music and art backgrounds, their goal for their startup, Viewzr, is “ create a unique high-quality video platform that would improve both the artist and user experience.”

From a quick conversation with them while waiting for an Uber, you could sense the innovative spirit that BSW was looking to nurture.

“Optical Processing & Digital Photography 2.0”

On the far end of Pearl street I attended a conversation on new camera and film technologies. Ideas that were discussed ranged from new 3D camera usage to the advantage having multiple lenses on the next generation of smart phones. The seminar speakers addressed their black box room audience of over thirty attendees with varied explanations so that all levels of tech knowledge could take something meaningful from the conversation.

Half Baked Improv Theatre

On Friday of BSW, I decided to try something out of my comfort zone. Once we were seated in the back patio of Trident Cafe, the event moderators had us brainstorm random words that ranged from circle to Kardashian. From there I was grouped with 3 random strangers and had to develop a business or product using those words to sell to fake investors. The energy was high and I had no idea what I was doing, but that was nearly half the fun.  I laughed my way through initial ideas, but in the end, the troubleshooting and marketing plans that we developed seemed like they could work in the real startup world. We pulled it together and ended up winning the competition, an awesome way to end my first BSW experience!

What a great way to get out and connect with the brain power and creative energies right here at home. Congrats to the organizers, speakers, and volunteers for continuing the legacy of a fantastic and innovative week.

…. Even though I’m still waiting for my Uber to show up,

Anna Ogilvie


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